FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions

FAQ

Do you have questions?  We have answers!

Below is a list of the most commonly asked questions that we receive and their corresponding answers. If you have a question that is not listed below, please Contact Us and we will respond as quickly as possible.

General FAQ

This is a difficult topic of ethics, technicalities and legalities…

First of all, smoking is federally regulated in Canada and it is illegal to sell tobacco products to anyone under 18 years of age. Some provinces have also made that age requirement even higher. If your child is under the legal age to smoke in your province but is addicted to smoking, that is a different issue.

Then there is vaping, a product that was designed for smokers as a harm reduction tool. Since smoking is federally regulated to prevent the sale of tobacco products to those over 18 (higher in some provinces) it only makes sense that vaping product consumers are limited to ONLY those that are of legal smoking age. For that reason, since our inception, ECTA has maintained a firm position that our members must not sell vaping products to anyone under the legal smoking age in their province.

However, vaping is not a tobacco product and it is not smoking. It is a harm reduction tool and Canada openly promotes harm reduction.

Within Canada, there is pending legislation (Bill S-5) that, like tobacco, will limit the sale of vaping products to only those over the age of 18.

The complex part of this legislation is that the rights of that smoking youth, guaranteed by the Canadian Charter of Rights, might be violated if the government restricts a less harmful product from a youth that is addicted to smoking.

In terms of “should they vape” instead of smoking? The answer is that they should do neither, but if they must do one or the other, the evidence says that vaping is significantly less harmful than smoking.

Suffice it to say, there is no provision in the pending legislation that will allow the sale of a non-prescription vaping product to your child. But you should contact your federal member of parliament and stay tuned…

Even though we are “in the business” of vaping, we do not and will never encourage non-smokers to begin vaping. Inhaling anything into your lungs carries with it, inherent risk.

Vaping was invented for the purpose of reducing the risk of smoking (combustion / burning) tobacco cigarettes. When you smoke, you are inhaling a significant number of known carcinogens that WILL kill you.

As an organization, we promote the harm reduction aspect of vaping vs. smoking.

No…

Nothing, not even breathing clean air is 100% “safe“. However, there is a significant amount of evidence, and more evidence build that has concluded that vaping IS safER than smoking. Health Canada has stated as much, though “how much safer” is still in debate.

We suggest that you review the Studies and Publications that we have posted for specific and additional resources.

Absolutely Not! As far as ECTA is concerned, any product that meets public safety and quality standards as dictated by Canadian laws and regulations can be sold by anyone. That is the same legal requirement that is on every single product that is sold by every business in Canada.

ECTA is doing the research on compliancy requirements and performing standard, documented and regular audits for our members to ensure that every product that they carry meets those legal requirements. This gives them the ability to focus on their business and their customers a solid piece of mind in knowing that they only sell products that meet Canadian safety standards.

That depends on who is doing the test, how it is being tested and what compounds are being checked. The general pricing for “good” testing that we have seen falls between $150.00 and $250.00 per sample.

If you have a question that is not on this list, please send us your question through Contact Us page and we will respond as soon as possible.  Your question may also end up on this list.

Thank you!
ECTA of Canada

The next time you walk through the grocery store, take a closer look at the product labels on the shelf. Regardless of the country of origin, from canned goods to shampoo to cosmetics, there are commonalities on all the labels in their respective departments. Likewise, E-Liquid is bound to certain labeling standards as well. While there is no specific “E-Liquid” regulation for label standards, it will come into play as regulations start to become cemented on a provincial and federal level. So how are these standards derived, and what is necessary to have on an e-liquid label?

We have posted an article that details the requirements of Liquid Labeling, its purpose and why it should be of concern for everyone.

Review that article here: ECTA Label Policy

This is a very fluid time in the industry with regard to regulations and everything with our government takes time.  We are not always aware of changes that occur at the municipal level as they tend to change quite rapidly and without much warning.  However, we do stay on top of regulatory changes at the Provincial and Federal levels.

As things evolve, we are updating our Articles section with information related to Legislation.

Direct engagement by ECTA is a service reserved for our Client Members. We can only act in an advisory capacity for non-ECTA Client Members. You can get in touch with us through the Contact Us page and we will respond as soon as possible.

Thank you very much!

ECTA of Canada is not able to accept any monetary donations.

We can absolutely use everyone’s help though.

One of the keys to our success depends on delivering quality, accurate, wide-spread exposure and education on Electronic Cigarettes.  Approach your local community and area businesses. Spread the word and Vape Proud!  As a consumer, forgiveness is much easier to obtain that permission. You would be surprised how many people have never heard of Electronic Cigarettes and it is mostly because of the stigma of the word “cigarette” and the fact that it “looks like” tobacco smoking.

Now we are NOT saying to shove your E-Cigarette in everyone’s face and blow “vapour-rings” around their nose, but exposure and education in a professional sense of the word. If someone truly takes offense, don’t make a scene or cause a ruckus. Try to explain it to them and they may or may not be receptive.

But even with a failed attempt, it is still exposure.

We do not have any direct influence on the business operations of any ECTA member.  If there is a dispute, it is between you and that business. Keep in mind however, all of our members are required by ECTA to adhere to our Code of Conduct at all times.

No, or at least not because of anything related to or dictated by ECTA. While ECTA does have monthly membership fees, it is doubtful that any ECTA Member will feel the need to increase their prices very much to absorb that cost, if at all.

What it comes down to is that ECTA does not and will not have any involvement with what individual businesses charge for their products. First and foremost “price fixing” is illegal.  Secondly, ECTA Members are direct competitors and we as individual business owners set our prices to be competitive with every other business in the industry.  That will not change.

This question has come up many times and we believe it is because the person asking the question already knows the short answer and/or there is an inaccurate assumption that is perceived based on what they appear to mean.  In legal terms, ECTA is registered as a For Profit Corporation but none of ECTA’s Founders, Directors or Members is receiving any money from ECTA.  Quite the opposite is true, in fact.

To be “For Profit” vs. “Non-Profit” was discussed at great length during initial meetings. What it came down to was that Electronic Cigarettes is a private industry and ECTA is operated by Electronic Cigarette Business owners. Non-Profit Organizations are of a special structure that does not fit our type of operation.

We are business owners that directly benefit from the industry. I think we are all aware of the fire that CASAA came under regarding their board members “allegedly” having direct or indirect financial benefit from electronic cigarette sales? Those allegations against CASAA were absolutely false but how hated would ECTA be if we undeniably had financial gain from public funding? Therefore, we are filed as for profit.

With that said, none of us are going to make any money off this “ECTA” thing. That is not even remotely expected other than on paper. Think about that gruesome truth being discussed among the founding (entrepreneur) directors, competitors before we ever formed ECTA. We needed to have the right people in place to seed this venture with little hope of any return.

Where we (all vendors) will make money is with a legitimized industry where every tobacco smoker knows about electronic cigarettes, can freely and safely make the switch and vape with confidence on every street corner. ← THERE is the secret hidden ECTA agenda

Each of the Founding Directors is extremely dedicated, persistent and very passionate about what we do for a living. We all share similar stories (amongst ourselves and our customers) about how we are all former tobacco cigarette smokers now switched exclusively to electronic cigarettes. We all got started in this business because of what Electronic Cigarettes have done for us. We believe in what we do and want to give every tobacco smoker the opportunity to make an educated decision knowing that there IS an alternative to tobacco. Education and exposure are the key fundamentals to the success of this industry and we are driven by our passion for that in which we believe.

No one in Canada has been able to successfully organize an industry advocacy or regulatory group to the point at which we are with ECTA today. We believe that our time is now when we will be able to approach the Canadian Government with a solid proposal of self-regulation utilizing existing Canadian law and regulations as they can be applied for public safety and quality standards.

One possible alternative could be be Big Tobacco or Big Pharmaceutical companies stepping in and dumping millions of dollars into the industry and getting it regulated in their favour. At that point, it would be too late to do anything except pay top dollar for the same supplies requiring a prescription or exorbitantly taxed.

So, what makes us think that we will succeed? Not much liking the possible alternatives.

Well, ECTA is not a Business Consulting organization but a Trade Association for existing businesses. Starting an Electronic Cigarette business is no different than starting any other business.

Once you get established as a business in Canada is where ECTA comes into the picture. As part of starting your business however, if you plan to become an ECTA Client Member you should be prepared for regular audits. Audited items will include things like:

  • Content compliance review or your web site
  • Content compliance review on any signage, marketing and/or printed materials
  • Tracking system for liquid and hardware
  • Proof of Safety compliancy for all products
  • Appropriate Bottles and supplies used for bottling
  • E-liquid free of contaminants and is as advertised
  • Proper labeling
  • And more…

No one expects anyone to be 100% compliant the day they join ECTA and there is a ramp up time for everyone. There will be plenty of time to get things accomplished between audits.

Once full compliance has been achieved, things should be much more simplified for your business moving forward as only changes in Canadian regulation/laws would need to be maintained. We will be able to directly disseminate those changes to our Client Members so there would be no surprises.

Absolutely NOT!

There is no law anywhere in Canada that says that Electronic Cigarettes are Illegal. Health Canada has issued an advisory in 2009 among other alerts “advising Canadians not to purchase or use electronic smoking products, as these products may pose health risks and have not been fully evaluated for safety, quality and efficacy by Health Canada.

But the misinterpretation of them being “illegal” is part of what we, as ECTA of Canada are working toward resolving. Our end goal being a proven, safer alternative to tobacco use and a legitimized regulated industry in Canada.

An electronic cigarette business is like any small business when it comes to paper work.  The only licensing that you currently need in Canada is standard business licensing and nothing specifically related to ecigs.  Also, be aware that each region (Provincial and Municipality) has their own business license requirements.

No… ECTA does not test ANY E-Liquid, not even our members. For the audit process to be successful, our E-Liquid must be handled and tested by an Independent Third-party.

If you wish to test Liquids to ECTA standards, you can certainly contact the lab that we use and request that they run the ECTA panel. Or if you only wish to test for certain compounds such as Diacetyl (2,3-Butanedione) and Acetyl Propionyl (2,3-Pentanedione), they will certainly accommodate that as well.

Though we are searching for one or more labs in Canada, ECTA currently uses Enthalpy Analytical Inc, located in Durham, NC (USA) for our E-Liquid testing for several reasons:

  • Complies with Health Canada testing methods (ISO 17025)
  • Work with AEMSA so they are familiar with our needs
  • Work closely with Dr. Konstantinos Farsalinos, M.D. on E-Cigarette Research
  • Perform specific Electronic Cigarette research and lab studies for researchers internationally

To inquire about liquid testing with Enthalpy, feel free to email them through their website.

Ensuring consumer safety is one of the primary mandates upon which the ECTA was founded.

E-Liquid testing falls hand-in-hand with that mandate, thus it is a requirement for all of our members.

We have posted an article that details the requirements of Liquid Testing, its purpose and why it should be of concern for everyone.

Review that article here: Why Juice Should Be Tested

Business Specific FAQ

The Electronic Cigarette industry has been flying by the seat of its pants for the last several years in Canada. Inevitably, the Canadian government is going to step in somewhere. It will likely be after the unthinkable happens with a failed device or e-liquid contamination. We do not believe that any of us is prepared for that scenario.

Ask yourself these questions:

  • Do you know that your products meet required safety standards?
  • Have you seen and verified safety and quality standard reports on the products that you sell?
  • Do you understand the laws and regulations that dictate those standards?
  • Do you know that the ingredients of your E-Liquid are free of contaminants?
  • Are you having your E-Liquid tested regularly to ensure that it is contaminant free?
  • Would you like to have the voice of an organization behind you or go it alone?
  • Do you want to show your customers that you care enough to have another set of eyes?
  • How much freedom would it give you to not need to worry about your hardware or E-Liquid?
  • Would you like assistance and guidance with ensuring all of this happens?

ECTA will help you and your business achieve and maintain all of the above.

Absolutely NOT! From ECTA’s perspective, there is no such thing as an “approved” supplier.  ECTA will not dictate who you choose as suppliers for your business. Your suppliers are your confidential information that you will not ever be required to reveal to any other member of ECTA. The compliance auditor will need to know but they are bound by non-disclosure to not reveal any of your business details or results to anyone but you, the business owner. What must be “approved” are the products and that documentation must be provided by each ECTA Member as obtained from your supplier or other means. All products that ECTA Members carry must meet safety standards dictated by Canadian laws and regulations which will be checked during regular audits.

No. As an organization, ECTA of Canada cannot make recommendations or show favoritism of one supplier over another. That is not our role at this point. However, even though all of the members of ECTA are direct competitors, the likelihood is that you can “unofficially” speak with another business owner of your type (hardware/e-liquid) and they may be willing to provide you with their own recommendation based on their experiences. But such recommendations cannot come from ECTA.

ECTA has monthly fees for Electronic Cigarette businesses which are divided into three levels:

  • Director – These members make up the Board of Directors
  • Client Member – These are the full memberships
  • Distributor Member – These members are those that obtain their entire inventory of products from existing ECTA Client Members

Director Members make an initial $5,000 investment in the organization after which the monthly Director fee is $250.00/mo.

Client Members initial registration and signup fee is $450.00 which includes membership administration setup, first month membership and delivery of the ECTA Industry Standard of Excellence (ISE) Guidebook. The Client Membership fee after that is $100/mo.

Distributor Member fees are $50.00/mo.  The fees for a Distributor Member are significantly lower because their product compliancy is completed by their Client Member supplier.

No, or at least not because of anything related to or dictated by ECTA.  While ECTA does have monthly membership fees, it is doubtful that any ECTA Member will feel the need to increase their prices very much to absorb that cost, if at all.

What it comes down to is that ECTA does not and will not have any involvement with what individual businesses charge for their products.  First and foremost “price fixing” is illegal.  Secondly, ECTA Members are direct competitors and we as individual business owners set our prices to be competitive with every other business in the industry.  That will not change.

We will need detail about the shipment and we have a form that will assist you with providing all of the relevant information. If the content of the package is one of your compliant products, we will correspond and work directly with the agency on your behalf as ECTA of Canada and attempt to resolve the issue.

No. The Electronic Cigarette Industry is in the very early stages of development so there is no single regulatory body that the government requires businesses to join “or else.” Someday, it may be the case where all Electronic Cigarette related businesses will be required to join ECTA or an equivalent organization to legally operate in Canada. But that is not the case today. ECTA’s role here is to offer client members guidance and assistance with obtaining and maintaining compliance with current Canadian laws and regulations.

If you do not believe that your business will benefit from the services offered by ECTA then you certainly do not have to join. Your business will still need to be in and maintain compliance with Canadian law by whatever means necessary.

No… ECTA does not work with, purchase from, communicate with or keep a good/bad list of any Manufacturers.

If you are an Electronic Cigarette and/or accessories manufacturer or wholesaler, please do not ask us to purchase, recommend or endorse any of your products. ECTA does NOT purchase any Electronic Cigarette products and remains neutral on all products from all manufacturers.

If you wish to sell your products, you will need to contact companies that sell Electronic Cigarettes and Accessories. ECTA does not sell these products and your email will simply be redirected as SPAM.

As a manufacturer however, we do recommend that you perform and provide legitimate and verifiable safety standards testing certificates and reports that meet Canadian Standards when requested by Electronic Cigarette companies in Canada. These are required (by law) for all products being imported and sold in Canada.

ECTA members are regularly audited on these certificates and reports (among other things). If they do not have them, they cannot sell your products.